Making the most of the rains

By Matt Reese

There has been much discussion about the drought conditions showing up around the state and there has been evidence of that reflected in some of the yield reports in the 2020 Virtual Ohio Crop Tour.

The latest installment of the United States Drought Monitor from Aug. 13 showed Moderate Drought in parts of far northwest Ohio, a couple of spots in eastern Ohio and some areas of central and southern Ohio. There is a much larger part of the state though dealing with Abnormally Dry conditions. In these areas, farmers are trying to help crops make the most of the rainfall they have received through various management practices.

John Deeds in Hancock County submitted yields for the Virtual Crop Tour. Though the ground he farms with his brother, Tom, is on the fringe of areas with Moderate Drought, they have gotten more rainfall than other parts of northwest Ohio.… Continue reading

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Day 3 Crop Tour submissions: Corn

Allen County

This May 4 planted field had a final stand count within 1,000 of planted. Ear size shrinks on clay hills, but every stalk has an ear. There was no insect or disease pressure. It was at milk stage with a yield of 140 to 150 bushels depending on where in field you pull sample. There is a great final stand count, but ear size on clay hills suffered due to lack of moisture.

There was a great final stand in this field planted May 5. It had even height across the field. There was light northern corn leaf blight. Yield estimate: 185 bushels.

Allen Co. corn

Clinton County

Crops look great for limited rains in areas at times. This first field was planted May 13. The first very concerning problem was the tip-back and bird damage in the very first field of corn planted with a yield estimate of 225 bushels per acre.… Continue reading

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Day 3 Crop Tour submissions: Soybeans

Allen County

This field was planted May 4. It had an even stand with good color. It is one good rain away from excellent yield. There is limited disease pressure and no insect issues. The canopy height is 36 inches with 2 inches between nodes. The plants have average clusters with 2 to 3 beans per pod and a 50-60 bushel yield estimate.

Crawford County

This field had full canopy coverage. It was weed free. It was planted May 1 and had an average population 99,000. It was a no-till field. Soil moisture was low but adequate. Disease pressure was low except for some large patches of SDS. Canopy height was 27 to 30 inches with 2.5 inches between nodes and mostly 3 bean pods. The yield estimation was 60+.

Crawford Co, beans

Fulton County

This was a pretty consistent field of soybeans planted in 15 inch rows, no-till into a cereal rye cover crop on May 4.… Continue reading

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Crop tour highlights efforts to care for land and crops

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

For the 2020 Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net Virtual Crop Tour two fields in western Wood County farmed by Brad Hass were evaluated. Both were Hoytville clay soil and were well drained. The corn was a prevented planting field in 2019 due to the excessive rainfall. It had some volunteer wheat from 2018 that was allowed to grow in 2019 as a cover crop, then was terminated and tilled prior to planting the corn in 2020. The hybrid evaluated was a 108-day corn. The initial target population was planned for 32,000 but actual planting population was closer to 30,500. Emergence was uniform, and stalk strength looked good. The ear count came out to 30,000 per acre. A majority of the ears were 18 kernels around, with 30 kernels per row. The kernel depth was somewhere between average and excellent.… Continue reading

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Day 2 summary

More of Ohio’s localized dry conditions showed up in some of today’s reports. There were fields of corn firing, some suffering soybeans and later-planted fields showing up in today’s reports as well. A tough Union County field has a sub-130-bushel yield potential after being planted wet and then enduring some very dry conditions. Gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight started showing up in more of today’s reports too. The high for corn today was from Putnam County with a nice 234-bushel estimate. The average for Day 2 is 192.5 bushels. The two-day corn yield average is 192 bushels.

The lowest soybean yields reported so far are from Hardin County where conditions have been really challenging due to very limited rainfall. There was some pod feeding, frogeye and increasing amount of Japanese beetle feeding reported today. There were a couple of 60+ yield potential fields reported, but also more 40- to 50-bushel range fields reported today.… Continue reading

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Day 2 Crop Tour submissions: Soybeans

Franklin County

These beans went in the ground June 6. The field looks good, is loaded with blooms and extremely healthy. Canopy height is 36 inches with 4.5 inches between nodes. Pods are just developing and yield potential is in the 40- to 50-bushel range.

Franklin Co. soybeans

Hardin County

These beans were planted in early May and suffered through a very dry June and early July. They have had adequate moisture since then, but could use good rainfall the rest of August. Disease pressure is low and so is the yield potential, especially without some more rain. The yield estimate is less than 30 bushels.

This May 5 planted field did not get much rain in June and early July. The canopy height is 37 inches with 2.5 inches between nodes. The plants are at R5/R6 and the yield potential reflects some recent August rains with 50 to 60 bushels.… Continue reading

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Day 2 Crop Tour submissions: Corn

Defiance County

The May 11-planted corn field was 180 degrees different from a year ago. The yield was estimated to be 100% greater than 2019 (because in 2019 there were not ears to evaluate). The corn field was a 111-day hybrid. It had a final stand between 32,000 and 33,000 plants per acre, with generally small ears at this point. The field had recently finished pollinating, and some of the ears were relatively immature. Uneven emergence was evident in the size of some of the corn plants. This was largely due to weather stress and ground conditions. The corn was relatively short, but the ears evaluated show potential for a fair to good yield if some timely rains come. Unfortunately, the field missed out on the Monday night rain, and no additional precipitation is in the forecast until the coming weekend.

Disease and pest pressure were low. The field had been sprayed with fungicide and insecticide early.… Continue reading

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Growing soybeans in a drought

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

The 2019 growing season was nearly a rainout as 84,198 acres in Defiance County went unplanted. In spite of the record rains and extremely late planting dates, Zeedyk Farms had nearly average yields on their corn silage. Just one year ago this week however, the corn had not yet matured to the point of producing ears in one field that was evaluated.

2020 started much better with adequate rainfall in the late winter and early spring, followed by a timely dry down in time for planting.

“We started planting both corn and soybeans around May 6 and finished about a week later. The ground conditions were really hard. There is just no tilth to the soil in some places of the fields after last year. There was one wet spot in a field where the water just finally dried up that we had to plant around this spring.… Continue reading

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Day 1 Summary

The first day of the OCJ/Ohio Ag Net 2020 Virtual Crop Tour got off to a solid start with a number of counties already entered. The low for corn yields was in Wood County where dry weather has been a concern. Just to the south, in Hancock County rain has been more plentiful and it showed up with a 237-bushel estimated yield — the highest reported for the day. The average corn yield in the Day 1 reports was 191.5 bushels.

The soybean reports were much more consistent. Disease levels were generally low, though there was some insect feeding reported. The 50- to 60-bushel yield range was a common estimate for Day 1 soybeans.

For a summary of each corn report from Day 1: Click here.

For a summary of each soybean report from Day 1: Click here.… Continue reading

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Day 1 Crop Tour Submissions: Soybeans

Darke County

This was a very clean soybean field with no disease or insect pressure planted on May 1. The canopy height was at 46 inches and there were six inches between nodes. There were a number of three- and four-bean pods and a yield potential of 50 to 60 bushels.

Hancock County

These May 8 planted beans were bushy and a nice height with no noticeable disease pressure but some Japanese beetle feeding. Canopy height was 34 inches with 3 to 3.5 inches between nodes. There were a few 4-bean pods and a 50- to 60-bushel yield potential.

This field was planted May 9 and included some grasshoppers and Japanese beetles. The canopy height was 44 inches with nodes spaced 3.5 to 4 inches. The later beans were still developing pods and they have had good rainfall recently. The guess here for yield was 50 to 60 bushels.… Continue reading

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Day 1 Crop Tour Submissions: Corn

Coshocton County

This was a good bottom field that looked really good from the road but many of the sample ears were only 14 rows around — possibly due to stress at the row set time. It hurt the yield check. It was planted May 5. The actual yield will be better than the samples that showed 182 bushels. There was also some bird damage in the field. Otherwsie there was no disease pressure or insect issues. Ear fill was excellent.

Darke County

This corn was planted on April 20 and froze off to the ground Mother’s Day weekend but has come back strong and is very even. We were dry in June but have had greater than an inch of rain per week since July 1. There is no disease pressure at all. Yield did not calculate out as strong as it looked from the road, though, at 151.3 bushels per acre.… Continue reading

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How will they yield?

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

As we enter August, Ohio soybean farmers find themselves in various stages of abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions. The Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net 2020 Virtual Crop Tour is asking farmers to evaluate their crops this week, and estimate the yields. Ryan Noggle, a soybean farmer in Paulding County, will be one of the participants on the virtual tour this year.

“I just love growing soybeans,” Noggle said. “It is a crop you can manipulate and it responds to so many different things during the growing season. It is interesting to see the yield difference.”

Noggle, who farms with his father Randy, is part of a multi-generational family farm in southern Paulding County. Noggle Farms, LLC. raises soybeans ranging in maturity from 2.9 up to 3.8.

Ryan Noggle, Noggle Farms, LLC.,
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Plenty to learn in the 2020 Virtual Crop Tour

Brett Barton loves working with farmers to help them become more efficient in what they are doing and making the most of available resources.

“We are a consulting company. We scout and write recommendations for farms. We represent the Maximum Farming System from Ag Spectrum along with other companies and other products,” said Barton, with Ohio Crop Performance, LLC based in eastern Ohio. “We are headed down the road of regenerative agriculture. Everybody talks about it and that is what we have honed in on. I work with things like using cover crops to your advantage and the efficient use of dairy manure and using other resources like pastures and grazing cornstalks. We are trying to do more with less and make use of the resources we already have.”

Barton’s work fits right in with his sponsorship of this year’s 2020 Virtual Crop Tour. The effort will hopefully generate quite a bit of useful information that can be used to make better crop management decisions in the future.… Continue reading

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2020 crop tour goes virtual

By Matt Reese

There are some really great things that happen on our annual crop tours. Ask any former participants and they will tell you there is great value in seeing how Ohio’s landscape, soils and various crop production challenges shift from east to west and north to south while traveling the state over the course of a few days. Meeting with the farmers at many of the stops provides great insights into the challenges and successes from farm to farm. It is also easy to see vast differences, but also many similarities, in farms on opposite ends of the state, or even one county apart.

It is also really fun for me to see the differences in how crop tour veterans view the experience (that they have deemed worth repeating) compared to the impressions of first-time crop tour participants. I love to overhear (and sometimes participate) in the extensive agronomic banter that transpires in the often-lengthy road trips between stops.… Continue reading

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Field to Lake Field Day in Paulding County

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader: a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

There is a saying in agricultural drainage: “Farmers pay for field tile every year. The only difference is if they actually have drainage tile in the field or not.” The idea is that there is either an expense being depreciated for the purchase and installation of field drainage tile, or there is a yield hit due to either late planting from wet soils, or saturated soils and water damage to the crop during the growing season due to not having adequate drainage.

In many of the former lake-bed soils found in Ohio, water management is a key to crop production and achieving maximum yields. In certain times of the year, this means getting rid of excess water. In other times of the year, it means conserving as much soil moisture as possible.

Don Johnson, a farmer in Paulding County, Ohio recently hosted a “Field to Lake” field day focusing on the use of water control structures.

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Use of corn as an acceptable feedstock clarified by the Department of Energy

An important step forward to driving demand for corn was recently achieved, thanks to the work of state and national corn growers staff and members of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Market Development Action Team (MDAT).

In the most recent Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) clarified that corn grain is an acceptable feedstock. This means that starch derived sugars, specifically starches from field/feed corn, were clarified as acceptable.

“This is an important evolution in how DOE interprets legislative intent,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “Given U.S. corn growers’ ability to efficiently produce, it is clear that corn can not only meet the needs of existing markets but can enable exciting new markets for renewable materials. We are excited to continue working with BETO and other government agencies to lay the groundwork and develop a solid foundation for future markets for corn.”… Continue reading

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Scouting is worth the August effort

By Roy A. Ulrich, technical agronomist for DEKALB/Asgrow in Southern Ohio

This is the time of year when growers can learn a lot about the crop, the growing season, weather, and the impact of some of the management decisions made earlier in the year. Unfortunately, it also coincides with the time of year that most people despise scouting fields. It is August. It is hot in the Eastern Corn Belt, pollen maybe still shedding in corn fields, early morning dew drenches your clothes 12 rows into the first field, etc. — I’ve heard all the excuses from growers, dealers and interns. However, the knowledge and insights gained this time of year can be invaluable as we head into harvest and for future growing seasons and management decisions.

In this age of technology, do we really need to scout fields? There are satellites constantly circling the globe sending images of fields. Drones can capture information from fields with incredible resolution.… Continue reading

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Yield check…

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I think this is a year of “I’ll take what I can get” on yield, but still it’s good to know so you can plan ahead for grain sales or feed supplies. By Aug. 10 or so we should be far enough along in the crop season to get a reasonable yield estimate for corn and maybe some inkling for soybean. So how do we check crop yield?

For corn, this from the Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Forages Field Guide page 14, by Peter Thomison retired OSU state corn specialist.

There are several techniques for estimating corn grain yield prior to harvest. A numerical constant for average kernel weight is figured into the equation. Weight per kernel will vary depending on hybrid and environment; yield will be overestimated in a year with poor grain fill conditions and underestimated in a good year.

Step 1.… Continue reading

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